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15 Good Garlic Companion Plants (And 3 To Avoid)

Garlic is one of the kings of companion planting, working well as a neighbor to almost anything in the garden. The narrow profile also makes it an easy crop to sneak into small spaces.

So, in this article, I’ll share 15 perfect garlic companion plants to grow. While it works well with almost everything, I’ll share a few plants that I wouldn’t recommend planting with garlic. Let’s get into it!

1. Tomatoes

Sun gold cherry tomatoes on truss

It seems like destiny to have tomatoes and garlic growing right beside one another. They are often headed for the same culinary dish, so why not have the plants grouped together, too? I like to interplant a few garlic plants on the South side of my tomato plants to make sure they both get enough light.

2. Lettuce

Raised bed lettuce: Flashy Trout Back variety

It is common belief that garlic can change the flavor of other nearby plants. However, in my experience, this has never happened. So, feel free to plant garlic next to your leafy greens like lettuce and spinach. In this case, the garlic is much taller than the lettuce, so plant your lettuces to the South of garlic.

3. Flowers

Silver Spotted Skipper on red zinnia flower

While garlic is considered pest resistant, it is not completely immune to bad bugs. Onion thrips, slugs and snails, and nematodes can cause issues with your garlic plants. Planting various flowers as companions for garlic is a great way to increase biodiversity and attract beneficial insects. We especially love planting alyssum, asters, marigolds, zinnias, and yarrow.

4. Strawberries

Ripe red strawberry on plant

This may seem like an unlikely duo, but there is no reason you can’t plant savory garlic with your sweet fruits. Strawberries produce their berries in spring, while garlic is harvested in mid summer. Strawberries also have a tendency to spread, so you could plan on allowing your strawberries to take over the soil that your garlic was planted in.

5. Cucumbers

Cucumber growing on vine

Growing cucumbers is an absolute joy. They are climbing plants that grow quickly, often producing dozens of tasty cucumbers on each plant. Garlic makes a great cucumber companion plant, and should be grown on the South side of your climbing cucumbers to avoid being shaded out.

6. Basil

Basil leaves

Garlic and basil have one thing in common: they’re both amazing companion plants for the garden. So, it should be no surprise that garlic makes a perfect companion plant for your basil plants. I like to group tomatoes, basil and garlic all in the same area in the garden. Add in cilantro, green onion, and a few pepper plants and you’ve got yourself a perfect salsa garden!

7. Carrots

Carrots in raised bed late May
Carrots with garlic in background.

The usable portion of your garlic plants is what grows underground. The same is true of carrots and other root vegetables. Interplanting these crops with one another helps create more diversity in your garden, helping to “confuse” pests that are driven by scent.

8. Peppers

Pasilla chile pepper with plant stake

If you know anything about us, you know we love growing peppers. In fact, it’s where we got our start in the garden. One of the first crops we grew along with our peppers was garlic, and the two plants worked great together. Peppers can be a magnet for pests, so planting garlic in and around your chile plants can help.

9. Parsnips

Parsnip crown

Like carrots, parsnips can be attractive to the carrot rust fly. This fly is attracted to your garden by way of scent. If you add in another plant that has a strong aroma, like garlic, you can help to confuse these pests and potentially avoid an infestation.

10. Beets

Beets growing in ground

Beets are a cool-season crop that can be in and out of the garden by mid-summer. This makes beets a great option to grow with garlic if you need the soil space for other plants starting in mid summer.

11. Kale

Kale growing in the garden

Some kales can grow all season long, but most thrive in the cooler weather of spring and fall. Again, this means that you can harvest your last batch of kale around the same time you harvest garlic, making room in the garden for something else to be planted.

12. Melons

Cantaloupe melon in field

Watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew plants can grow to be truly massive. But, did you know that they can be trained to climb instead of sprawl? This method of vertical gardening can make your melon plants fit into a relatively small space. It also means that you can interplant smaller crops like garlic, leafy greens, and root vegetables nearby.

13. Tarragon

Tarragon whole plant

Another excellent pairing for garlic is tarragon. This lesser-grown herb is a delicious addition to the garden. Keep in mind, tarragon tends to grow rapidly, and can end up fairly large by the end of the season if left un-pruned (so make sure to harvest regularly!).

14. Broccoli & cauliflower

Cauliflower plant

Like kale, broccoli and cauliflower plants can make for good garlic companions. The plants are quite large, so keep be sure to provide plenty of space for these brassicas. However, garlic can fit into some of the smaller spaces between the plants if you’re crafty.

15. Potatoes

Planting seed potato in holes

Finally, potatoes can make a great garlic companion plant. Again, these two crops go hand-in-hand in the kitchen, so why not plant them together, too? Would a batch of mashed potatoes be complete without minced garlic?

3 Plants To Avoid Planting With Garlic

While most plants make great neighbors for your garlic plants, there are a few that may not be ideal. Here are some crops to avoid planting with garlic:

  • Alliums (onions, chives, etc.). It is often best to separate plants that fall in the same crop family. Onions, chives, and other alliums are in the same family as garlic, and can lead to pest populations getting out of hand (such as onion flies).
  • Tomatillos. Tomatillo plants have a tendency of getting quite large. As a result, they may crowd out your garlic. There shouldn’t be any issue having garlic nearby tomatillos, but the spacing should be taking into account.
  • Corn. While corn is a relatively easy, slender crop to grow, it is particularly tall. So, if you are planting garlic in the same vicinity, be sure to do so on the South side of your corn to avoid shading.

I hope this article helps you to find the perfect companion plants for garlic in your garden. It is hard to go wrong with interplanting garlic around your garden! I like to plant a majority of our garlic in rows, but I also sprinkle a handful of cloves around the entire garden to maximize the benefits!

– Calvin

As an avid gardener for many years, Calvin is always excited to learn more about the fascinating world of plants. He has a particular fascination with peppers, as well as big, showy flowers like peonies and roses

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One Comment

  1. This was a great article because at 82 with the severe MO weather I have to grow in the basement and it’s a tight fight. I frequently forget not to put bad neighbors close to each other. Thanks for the heads up, Hank

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